A common line used by DAP is that "Lim Guan Eng went to jail for defending a Malay girl who was raped".
Unfortunately, it is not exactly all true - not even by half. Maybe 10% true.
Did you know that Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng used to hate the guts of Gopal Sri Ram, Anwar's lead counsel in the Sodomy II final appeal?
In 1997, Lim Guan Eng (LGE) was sentenced by the Malacca high court for maliciously printing false news under the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984 and under the Sedition Act 1948.
LGE was found to have been guilty of spreading allegations that the then Melaka Chief Minister Rahim Tamby Chik had raped an under-aged girl.
His original sentence was just a fine of maximum RM5,000 fine for the sedition charge and RM10,000 fine for "false news" charge but no jail term.
At this point, LGE could have paid the RM10k fine now and need not go to jail. But to do so would mean he would be barred from contesting for 5 years and more importantly, be seen as lying which would destroy his and DAP's reputation.
Thus he did not pay the fine and choose to appeal.
The case then went to the Court of Appeals.
In 1998, the Court of Appeals' head Judge Gopal Sri Ram then said "It is time that the court sends a clear message that it cannot tolerate any attack on the judiciary"
(Interestingly, years later Gopal Sri Ram was also the head counsel for Anwar Ibrahim in the Sodomy II Federal court case in early 2015 - which he lost and Anwar went to jail.)
Probably unhappy at the alleged contempt of how LGE and his lawyers defended the case, Judge Gopal thus increased the sentence from the total RM15,000 fine to 36 months in jail.
And thus LGE went to jail. But not for 36 months.
After a series of appeals, Lim was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He was, however, released after 12 months on 25 August 1999.
Therefore LGE went to jail for distributing false news and sedition for using the case of Rahim Tamby Chik to incite the people.
But was the rape case real and should Lim Guan Eng have pursued it then?
DAP continued to paint this picture of Lim Guan Eng being in jail because he defended a Malay girl who was raped.
Thus Rahim Tamby Chik then sued DAP for defamation which he won and this is what happened - as explained by DAP in their Oct 21, 2003 statement.
Former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik this morning withdrew his defamation suit against the DAP in connection with the DAP book “Lim Guan Eng – MP in Jail” and the Sympathy, Support and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng Poster after DAP defence counsel Karpal Singh read out the following statement by and on behalf of the DAP. There was no order as to costs in the consent settlement.
Statement by the Democratic Action Party
We, the Democratic Action Party, hereby refer to the Book published by us entitled “Lim Guan Eng – MP in Jail” (“Book”) and to the Poster (“Poster”) campaign which we embarked on relating to the Plaintiff, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Bin Datuk Tamby Chik, and we hereby make the following statements:
(1) We must stress we made the allegations relating to Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Bin Datuk Tamby Chik contained in the Book and Poster as we believed them to be true at the material time based on the statements made by Pendek binti Amhad to Mr Lim Guan Eng and by Noryati Binti Mohamad Yusop and ACP Mok at the High Court, Melaka, in Criminal Trial Nos: 45-2-1995 and 45-3-1995 (Pendakwa Raya v Lim Guan Eng).
(2) However, in view of subsequent events, in particular
a) the retraction of the allegations by Noryati Binti Mohamad Yusop under oath by way of a Statutory Declaration; and
b) the fact that similar allegations made by Time Magazine and Asiaweek have resulted in an apology being given to Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Bin Datuk Tamby Chik;
We now realize that the basis for the allegations we made against Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Bin Datuk Tamby Chik in the Book and Poster no longer exists and in view of this, the said allegations are wholly unfounded.
(3) Accordingly we acknowledge that these unfortunate events have caused all parties concerned, including Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Bin Datuk Tamby Chik and family, great distress and anguish.
(21st October 2003)So it was clear that Asiaweek and Time Magazine had apologized to Rahim Tamby Chik.
And DAP also withdrew the rape allegation and read out the statement in open court.
Thus, subsequent events show that LGE was indeed wrong to spread false news and incite the people with that rape allegation (which was eventually withdrawn and various parties apologized for it) - thus the court conviction at that time was proven correct.
However, whether this deserved 12 months in jail instead of just a fine or not is another matter but that was for the courts and judge to decide.
|Jailed for contempt of court and spreading false news|
LGE did not go to jail for defending a Malay girl who was raped (since this allegation no longer exist) but for distributing false news and inciting the people based on a faulty allegation.
Do you really think he was "defending the girl" or he was trying to make it into a political issue to score votes because it had links to a BN politician?
Ask yourself this:
There are many Malay girls who got into trouble before this and after this. How many of these girls has LGE defended?
None.Of course LGE, being a DAP politician would use whatever issue that they have at that time to fight the government - but unfortunately for them, this issue was later proven to be wholly unfounded in the eyes of the law and admitted to by DAP themselves in their open court statement.
But of course, DAP will continue to spread this "proud claim" that Lim Guan Eng went to jail for defending a Malay girl although it is not entirely correct.
If you are still not convinced, you can read the written judgement on why Lim Guan Eng went to jail in the case of G.E. Lim - vs - Public Prosecutor